Cuckoo Series 1 Episode 4 Review

A trip to Granddad’s leads to an excruciatingly awkward situation.

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Cuckoo’s belief in reincarnation leads to a startling discovery at Granddad’s house.

As ludicrously escalating situations in sitcoms go, this was an absolute classic. While possibly unsavoury, several sitcoms have gone down that route in the past of trying to cover up the loss of a beloved pet to spare their families distress but inevitably leading to their deception being revealed in hilarious circumstances. This sitcom went one step further and while highly amusing, there was a sense that they had perhaps crossed a line. Edgy comedy is great and the whole cast did a great job keeping the humour in it despite the potentially controversial content. Did they tip the balance between funny and offensive though?

As the family prepared for a visit to Granddad Tony’s house for his birthday, Ken was thrilled having obtained great football tickets and the perfect gift for Tony. Cuckoo and Rachel were happy about the trip but Lorna was worried her father would ask about a bowl her mother had left her that she had accidentally broken and Dylan was unhappy that he would miss a pool party with his friends. With Cuckoo’s infuriating singing ringing in Ken’s ears, the family drove to Tony’s house. They were greeted with Tony showing his affection to a beautiful fluffy white cat that he adored, even though a neighbours cat she was providing him with some welcome company after the death of his wife. As Ken went to retrieve the birthday gift for Tony, Cuckoo came to the conclusion that the cat, Floxie, was the reincarnation of Tony’s wife Debra and announced this to everyone’s surprise. Dylan was unconvinced as was Ken but the rest of the family thought there might be something in it. After a brief experiment with two cups of milk with post it notes for the cat to read and drink the milk in the corresponding cup as to whether it was the reincarnation of Debra or just a nice white cat, the cat drank from the cup to indicate Cuckoo’s suspicions. Delighted with the belief that Floxie was Debra, Tony discarded plans to go to the football in favour of spending time with his late wife.

Ken, looking for a sympathetic ear, found Dylan in his room playing with his Granddad’s old rifle and offered to take him to the pub for a drink. Utterly elated with the opportunity to drink alcohol Dylan ran to get ready while Ken fiddled with the rifle, inevitably accidentally killing Floxie in the process. Ashamed with his actions, Ken attempted to cover up the accident leading to a much more awkward visit to Tony than they all expected.

Greg Davies is perfect for the role of Ken, his amazing facial expressions and overall cynicism at Cuckoo’s beliefs are believable and highly amusing. The irony is that if Cuckoo hadn’t suddenly announced that Floxie was the reincarnation of Debra; Ken and Tony would have gone to the football and the incident would never have occurred in the first place – not that it is Cuckoo’s fault by any means but it all ties in with why Ken is so against Cuckoo. Since Cuckoo’s arrival, Ken has been in varying levels of trouble that he perhaps wouldn’t have gotten into before. Now feeling sorely misunderstood in his family with their love of Cuckoo, Ken is very much on the outside except for the opinion of his surly teenage son who does little to assist him. Tyger Drew-Honey is brilliant as Dylan, a typical teenage boy acting like a child, desperate to fit in with his peers but still wanting to appear adult – he makes such a convincing comic character. Helen Baxendale and Tamla Kari are the glue that binds the family together as Cuckoo nestles further into their home with his wide eyed ideas and confusion when it comes to banking. The opening scene where Andy Samberg as Cuckoo is appalled at the existence of interest on loans and lectures the entire bank was hilarious. While the addition of Cuckoo reading a book on reincarnation, the presence of the cat and the rifle introduction making the episode slightly predictable there was still a fair amount of comedy to be had, in poor taste maybe but still a funny show. Not an episode for everyone but if you can laugh at the sheer madness of the situation and the reactions of the characters you may just enjoy it.